Thursday, June 23, 2022

High Court reporters

A mother has told the High Court that “Ireland is no country to have a disabled child,” as she and her family had to fight for the most basic essentials for her son who has autism, ADHD, cognitive delay and behavioural issues.

Assumpta Corry broke down as she told Mr Justice Paul Coffey how for the last 17 years her family had struggled to care for son.

She said the settlement worth €4 million which stems from complication surrounding her son’s birth will mean he can now get the care he needs.

The woman asked to speak to the judge as her 17-year-old son Ben Corry settled an action against the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

The settlement which includes the €4 million interim pay out for the next five years is without admission of liability.

When the case comes back before the courts in five years’ time, Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told any assessment will be based on a 50 per cent basis.

Ben’s counsel Dr John O’Mahony SC with Doireann O’Mahony BL instructed by Vincent Toher solicitors told the court it was their case that during the delivery Ben was gasping for oxygen, and he inhaled meconium which Counsel said is a highly toxic substance.

His mother thought her baby was dead as he looked flat and grey on delivery.

Boy’s development

Ben, Counsel said is an extraordinary child but the windows and doors at home have to be locked for his own safety. He said the “dedication of his parents is out of this world.”

Counsel said it was one of the most challenging cases he had ever come across.

Ms Corry broke down in tears as she told how the family have struggled to care for Ben who also cannot speak.

“I have waited for 17 years for him to say Mum and Dad, but he can’t say it,” she said.

She said it could not have been made harder for the family. She said she knew her son was not reaching his milestones and development and said she was told she should not compare a boy’s development to a girl’s development.

“I felt I was ignored, I knew something was wrong,” she said.

She added:” I would die for my child, but you have to fight so hard for the most basic supplies. We got no respite, nothing.”

“I would do anything for him. We are the only thing he has. We love Ben, he is our flesh and blood I feel so sorry for anybody who has a disabled child in this country,” she told the judge.

Failure to intervene

Ms Corry said it is only when her legal team came on board that she felt that she was being heard.

Ben Corry (17) Carn, Moyleen,Loughrea, Co Galway had through his mother Assumpta Corry sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway on September 8th, 2005.

It was claimed the baby should have been delivered by Caesarean section but towards the end of labour it was alleged the cord was intermittently compressed causing the baby hypoxia and a reflex gasping in the baby which allegedly drew meconium deep into his lungs.

The labour, it was claimed was allegedly incompetently managed, and it was also claimed there was an alleged failure to intervene and proceed to Caesarean section.

It was claimed that the baby was allegedly exposed to an unnecessarily prolonged and severe period of birth asphyxia.

The claims were denied.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was a very sad tragic case, and he praised the parents for what they have done for their son.

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